Otter Perry ottertee at
Thu May 19 11:19:18 EDT 2005

On Thursday, May 19, 2005, at 12:16 AM, Gili Bar-Hillel wrote:

> On a totally unrelated topic: I've just read "The Wee Free Men" and "A
> Hatful of Magic" by Terry Prachett (my favorite books by Pratchett, but
> that's not saying much as I haven't read that many of his.) There's a  
> bit in
> both of the books about it being polite to always tell the bees what's  
> going
> on. This is a recurring theme in DWJ: it is mentioned in "The Power of
> Three" and by the honey witch in "Howl's Moving Castle" and even in her
> autobiography up on the website. Do any of you know if this is a belief
> actually held in some real folklore, or something invented by DWJ and  
> picked
> up by Pratchett?

They didn't make it up.  A very brief web search on 'telling the bees'  
turns up
some 19th century stuff.  Actually it also turned up some stuff from  
the 17th
century, but that wasn't strictly 'telling' the bees.

I'm sure if I'd spent a few more minutes, I'd have found lots more.

I know I was familiar with it before I ran into it in either Pratchett  
[one of
most very favoritest authors] or Jones [another of same].  This means
more about Pratchett, because I'm older than he is, but Jones's
publication history is younger than I am, even if she herself isnt'.

 From the pharmaceutical industry's perspective, the ideal disease
would be one that never killed those who suffered from it, that could
not be treated effectively, and that doctors and their patients would
nevertheless insist on treating anyway. Luckily for it, the American
health care industry has discovered (or rather invented) just such a
disease. It is called "obesity."
						          --Paul Campos

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